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Classified Ads Dying a Slow Death, CNW Reports

May 28, 2013

BANDON, Ore. — Dealers have a variety of opportunities to help promote and move inventory. One medium that is slowly fading is the classified ad in print publications, according to CNW Research.

The market research firm said classified ads are being replaced by a host of digital ad opportunities, including sites like AutoTrader and even newspaper digital products.

“Since 1990 … the share of franchised dealers using newspaper [classified sections] as a means of selling product has fallen from a high of 88.5 percent in 1997 to the current sub-65 percent,” wrote CNW’s Art Spinella in his firm’s monthly newsletter.

“For independent dealers, the high-water mark was 2003 at 96.2 percent to the 2012 figure of 80.4 percent,” Spinella continued. “Because there are so many alternative means of advertising, a growing number of used-car dealers are spending additional money on new outlets."

In 1991, Spinella noted, the average franchised dealers used 9.2 different methods of selling used cars. As the Internet grew, dealers added new test methods of selling vehicles and the number climbed to more than 12. After sorting through what worked and what didn’t, the figure declined to about 11. 7. Independent dealers went from 9.4 to 11.6.

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